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Posted by: Henness & Haight

Dog bites can be extremely dangerous and cause the victim to suffer severe injuries, as well as pose a threat to the local community.

If you have suffered from a serious dog bite, there are certain laws enacted by Nevada and its cities that might clarify who is responsible. For further information on the subject, you should consult with an experienced Las Vegas dog bite lawyer.

Nevada Dog Bite Laws

There are no established laws in Nevada that clearly state when a dog owner is responsible for a dog bite. This lack of clarification often leaves dog bite liability to be determined by common law.

Many cases of dog bite responsibility are decided by the dog’s previous record of aggression. If a dog has bitten someone before, the owner is typically held liable for any further incidents. This is because if a dog has previously bitten a person, the owner is expected to assume the dog has the potential to behave aggressively or violently toward others.

Liability in dog bite cases is usually determined by this factor. If a dog has a history of aggression, and the owner chooses to ignore it or neglects to take precautionary measures that would prevent any further attacks, he or she can be held liable for a dog bite.

Nevada also follows the rule of comparative liability when determining negligence. This means that a court must find you less than 51 percent responsible for your injuries.

If a court finds your actions were more than 51 percent liable for causing the dog to attack, you are not able to pursue damages or legal action.

Victims of dog bites must file their claim within Nevada’s two-year statute of limitations. The deadline begins on the day in which the dog attacked you. If you miss this deadline, you cannot pursue damages or a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

Proving a Dog Bite Claim

A further look at dog attack liability in Nevada shows that three elements must be present in a claim:

The Dog was Behaving Dangerously

A victim must show the dog’s owner was aware of the animal’s dangerous disposition. The dog must have exhibited behaviors considered abnormal for that breed.

An owner who is aware that his or her dog is behaving in an irregular or dangerous manner but neglects to take action and prevent an attack can be liable for any harm caused by the dog.

Owner Caused Attack

If a dog owner’s actions led the dog to attack, he or she would be liable for any damages caused by the dog.

Owner Failed to Take Action

Dog owners must take accountability for their animals’ actions. This includes making an attempt to prevent or stop a dog from attacking another person.

If the owner neglects to assume this responsibility and allows an attack to continue, he or she could be held liable if the dog bites another person.

In situations of a dog attack, there are certain signs that could give away the dog’s aggressive intentions. These signs include the dog:

  • Making direct eye contact with the victim
  • Sticking its tail up and wagging it stiffly
  • Spreading its legs apart and throwing out its chest
  • Perking up its ears
  • Making a low rumbling growl
  • Showing its front teeth

If a dog owner fails to notice or did not intervene with a dog who displays these behaviors, he or she could be held liable for negligence.

Las Vegas Dog Bite Laws

Dog bites in Las Vegas are determined by certain factors that were present when the attack occurred.

If the incident is the dog’s first known bite and the animal has no history of attacks or aggression directed towards humans, legal action is usually not taken. However, the dog’s owner could be subject to civil action from the victim if he or she suffered serious damages after the attack.

After a dog has attacked a person, it is must be reported to Las Vegas Animal Control. The dog will then be placed in isolation for 10 days to ensure it was not rabid or diseased.

Following the first bite against a person, a dog is considered dangerous and the owner must take precautionary measures to protect others from the dog.

If a dangerous dog bites or attacks a person, it will be labeled as “vicious.” The dog’s owner will likely face civil and criminal charges and a civil lawsuit, and the dog may be euthanized. Las Vegas does not allow vicious dogs within its city limits.

What Can I Do if I Have Been Injured by an Aggressive Dog?

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog who has a history of aggression, contact the dog accident attorneys at Henness & Haight. We will review your case for free and determine if you are entitled to legal action and the right to pursue damages.